The magic of light: Finnish and American experts to develop unique photodynamic skin therapy
Thanks to Finland’s excellent know-how in medical devices, physics and optics, clinical development and pharmaceutical research, an American medical company Fluence Therapeutics will open a research & development centre in Finland. With Finns, Fluence will develop and commercialize photodynamic therapy for skin diseases. This is great news for the 125 million people around the world suffering from psoriasis.
Fluence’s new treatment is expected to transform the psoriasis market worldwide. The company, an Akron-based spinoff of University Hospitals Case Medical Center, is developing a psoriasis drug which is placed on the skin and then activated by light produced by a special device.
The challenge for Fluence has been to develop a device that can deliver the right amount of light to the patient’s skin from a specific and stable distance from the skin. This is no longer a problem: the device will be developed in the new R&D centre, to be opened in the city of Tampere in 2013 with the collaboration of the Finnish companies Modulight and FinnMedi.
The land of psoriasis as an entry point to the EU
Finland has a curious advantage when it comes to psoriasis research: psoriasis is a more serious problem in Finland and other Nordic countries than anywhere else in the world.
– Finland is an ideal location for our business, with its capital Helsinki being a world class city with a strong work force and good transportation connections to the rest of the European Union. We hope to have our product on the European market in about 5 years. The market entry could require investment of approximately 15,000,000 Euros still, says Fluence’s CEO Warren Goldenberg.
Fluence became aware of the opportunities offered by Finland through cooperation with Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation, and the BioFinland Technology Bridge Program, a joint collaborative initiative between the Akron Global Business Accelerator and the Helsinki Business and Science Park (HBSP).